The Firefly Music Festival returned to The Woodlands this June, hosting its eighth year in Delaware. Founded in 2012, Firefly Music Festival is the east coast’s largest alt-rock, hip-hop and electronic music and camping festival, taking place annually in The Woodlands of Dover, DE. Festival fans immersed themselves in three days of performances, enjoyed a wide assortment of food selections, spent late nights with friends in the campgrounds and made memories that will last a lifetime.
This year’s headliners included Panic! At the Disco, Travis Scott, Post Malone and many other fan favorites including Tyler, the Creator, Death Cab for Cutie, Passion Pit, Lauren Daigle and Vampire Weekend. Samantha Hemphill of Frederica joined festivalgoers for several days and truly enjoyed the performances and experiences.
“My favorite performances were TLC, Panic! at the Disco, DJ Snake and Post Malone, but to by completely honest the best performance was hands down Panic!. Brendon Urie is a true entertainer and the show was truly an experience,” said Hemphill. She also enjoyed a unique feature known as the silent disco, which hosts a crowd of music lovers that wear headphones and have a choice of several performers, instead of collectively listening to a traditional concert. “It’s great people watching and I love to dance, and that’s the best place to do it,” she said.
As someone who grew up in Delware, Hemphill feels that it is important to support tourism efforts in the state. “I was skeptical and did not attend the first few years because I don’t love big crowds, but I’m so glad that I finally did because it’s really cool to see people from all over the place come to Dover, Delaware to see big names like Post Malone,” she said. “I really enjoy spending time in the Dogfish Head tent and love that our local businesses get to be apart of something as cool as a musical festival attended by thousands.”
Jesse Bontrager of Milford enjoyed Courtney Barnett and DJ Alison Wonderland. “This year [Alison] had a much better time slot and it was a high point trying to keep up with kids half my age in that supercharged crowd,” he said. He also experienced the electronic Duo from Scotland, Lets Eat Grandma as well as Jessie Reyez.
“I really appreciated the number of artists who spoke directly to matters of equality along with marking June as Pride Month,” said Bontrager. “Firefly has a strong element of inclusion for people identifying as LGBTQ+ or any other walks of life. Also seeing old friends and making new ones make for a lovely weekend.”
Over the years, Bontrager has seen all sorts of performances, from bands at the very top of the charts, classic bands that have been around for years to brand new artists just starting out. “Even in a year where the headliners didn’t appeal to my tastes, It’s easy to find old favorites that are always fun to watch or brand new (to me) acts that can provide different and new favorites for years to come,” he said.